Nets and Lakers are favorites as a new NBA season is right around the corner
The NBA preseason is officially underway as teams are gearing up for what should be another exciting season. As usual, there is no shortage of storylines heading into the new year, as the NBA has mastered the ability to grab people’s attention.
Nets and Lakers headline each conference
It isn’t usual that the two defending champions from each conference don’t start the following season as favorites to win it again. However, the Nets and Lakers are the consensus favorites to win their respective conferences.
The Nets were arguably inches away from being champions last year. Now, they boast a deeper and more talented roster to go along with their big three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving (more on him later).
The additions of Patty Mills, Paul Millsap and LaMarcus Aldridge will allow the Nets to rest their stars and still have the ability to rack up wins in the regular season.
Meanwhile in L.A., the Lakers made a blockbuster move, trading for Russell Westbrook. This gives the Lakers a big three of Lebron James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook.
They were also able to add Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk in free agency, while also bringing back Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo after a one-year hiatus from the team.
If everything goes how we think it will, a Nets-Lakers Finals could be one of the most entertaining Finals of all time.
Ben Simmons situation
Since I covered this last week, I won’t go too in-depth into what is going on in Philly. There has been a new development though, as the Sixers decided to not pay Simmons the $8.25 million that he was owed on Oct. 1.
Simmons, however, remains committed to wanting out of Philly and won’t show up to the team until he is traded. The Sixers also remain committed to seeking out a deal that makes sense for them, and a trade before the season starts is unlikely.
This situation will probably last until at least mid-December, as players who signed a new contract in free agency can’t be traded until Dec. 15.
Vaccination status of the league
While some players were in the headlines for their thoughts on the Covid-19 vaccine last week during media day, 95% of players have received the vaccine according to the NBA.
Two players were most notably under fire for their vaccination status: Andrew Wiggins and Kyrie Irving. This is because in order to play in New York City or San Fransisco, you must be vaccinated or else you won’t be allowed to play. This rule is for players of the home team only, so unvaccinated players for the away team will still be eligible to play.
Wiggins should be good to go as it has been reported that he received the vaccine, and those reports were true as he played in the Warriors’ first preseason game.
Irving, on the other hand, has not been vaccinated yet and will not be able to practice with the team or play in home games until he is. This would be a big loss for the Nets, as they would be missing their third best player for at least 41 games, and also every home game in the playoffs.